Soccer

Jonathan Walters backs Niall Quinn to change 'terrible' FAI funding situation

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

06:14 16 Apr 2019


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Jonathan Walters has castigated the FAI for losing funding for grassroots football, releasing "a thousand statements", and has backed Niall Quinn to be consulted on the next steps in repairing public trust in Irish football.

Walters spoke to OTB AM about the ongoing situation between John Delaney and the FAI board, the latest development of which came when Delaney 'offered to voluntarily step aside' while an independent investigation into FAI governance and finance is undertaken.

"It's all over the shop," said Walters to Nathan Murphy and Kenny Cunningham.

"Whatever is going on there is just not right at the moment. It is not just affecting the board, it is affecting the funding and the funding goes right down to the grassroots. If you start affecting that, that is terrible.

"This needs to be resolved as quickly as possible, and personal situations need to put aside. It has got to be whatever is best, right through the country, from bottom to top. If the situation at the moment is affecting that then it needs to change.

"The only time we really saw John and the board was when we were travelling to away games on the plane with you and on the way back," said Walters on the players' relationship with the board.

Walters was very clear on who he feels that the FAI should consult about what to do in the next phase of their governance changes.

"I was with Niall Quinn about four weeks ago and he was quite damning of the situation and adamant that it needs to change.

"As a person, you would ask [Quinn] for his input if it needed changing because he has been the chairman of Sunderland, he knows a different side to football as most players are a little sheltered from it.

"You need someone with the knowledge of the game and the grassroots, all the way through - and the board experience as well. Someone like Niall has got that."

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